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Health Minister Vardhan, wife get COVID-19 vaccine shot

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 2 (PTI) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and his wife took the first dose of indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute on Tuesday.

India opened up vaccination for those over 60 years and within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities from March 1.

The minister's wife, Nutan Goel, first took the jab after which Vardhan received the vaccine shot at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute, which is a private facility.

They paid Rs 250 each for the vaccine jab. Completing the observation period of half an hour after taking the first dose of the vaccine, Vardhan addressed the media and appealed to eligible people to get vaccinated and negate any rumour related to vaccine.

'Today I and my wife took the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at Delhi Heart and Lung Hospital around half-and-hour ago. The observation time of half-and-hour is completed. Hospital authorities have informed me that I and my wife have been given Covaxin. In the last half-and-hour, I and my wife did not face any kind of difficulty,' he told reporters.

'On this occasion, I would like to urge all the citizens of this country whose age is above 60 or if they are in the age bracket of 45-59 having specified co-morbidities to take the vaccine,' he said.

Stating that the Indian government has made the vaccine available for its citizens in thousands of private as well as government hospitals, Vardhan said that in the fight against COVID-19, this vaccine will act as a 'sanjeevani' for the people.

'I and my wife paid Rs 250 each for our doses. I would like to appeal to people that those who can afford vaccine in our country can visit the nearest hospital and get the dose.' He asked the citizens to follow COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and stressed the need for observing vaccine-appropriate behaviour as well.

'I urge the citizens of this nation to get the first dose of vaccine and after 28 days of it, get the second dose of vaccine. If someone develops any kind of side effects or face difficulties, do not fear and inform your doctor,' he said.

'Till now, around 1.5 crore people have been vaccinated, and 0.0003 per cent people have shown mild AEFI effects. No vaccination-related death has been recorded in the country. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free,' he added.

Vardhan said that Indian vaccines are in high demand in the world and they have been sent to around 28 countries.

'Around three to four dozen countries are demanding these vaccines. This is good news for Vaccine Maitri. World is appreciating us for this,' he said.

On the Co-WIN platform, the Union minister said, 'There were some glitches in Co-WIN platform due to high number of registrations all of a sudden. Yesterday, around 34 lakh people had registered on this platform till last night. The number of people registering for the vaccination is increasing rapidly.' He urged all hospitals to update the schedule for 28 days so that people don't face any issue.

The minister told people not to have any doubts about the vaccine, underlining no death has occurred till now due to the anti-coronavirus vaccination in the country.

Vardhan said that if any death occurs a few days after receiving the jab, it cannot be linked to vaccination because each such death is being scientifically probed. PTI AMP PLB IJT